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Knitting for Charity

Jun 16, 2011

A proud recipient of a bear from the Mother Bear Project
Charity knitting, as Martha would say, is a good thing!

Many of us have causes near and dear to our hearts. My latest favorite knitting charity is the Mother Bear Project, an organization that facilitates the making of knitted bears for orphaned African children. Many of these precious kids were orphaned by wars in their countries, and many more were orphaned because of AIDS. It just breaks my heart.

But through the Mother Bear Project, we can do something to help!

Here's what the project does (from their website):

"The Mother Bear Project is dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear.

The simple gift of a hand-knit bear with a tag signed by the knitter has touched children with the message that they are unconditionally loved."

My knitting group is in the process of knitting bears for the Mother Bear Project—why don't you join us?

Check out the Mother Bear Project and start knitting bears for kids who really need them!


P.S. Please leave a comment and share your favorite knitting charity with us!

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on May 25, 2012 12:33 PM

Hi! The Knotty Knitters of Ft. Lupton CO are looking for local veterans' organizations to accept knitting/crochet items. Any ideas? Send suggestions to Thank you!

MargaretS@32 wrote
on Jun 27, 2011 8:42 AM

If you[re looking for a well-managed, efficient Charity Knitting project, check out Afghans for Afghans ( They provide all kinds of knitted items for women and children in Afghanistan and arrange to have their gifts hand-delivered to the recipients without middle men. They provide clear guidelines on what is needed (all-wool or other natural fiber, no representational art, targeted sizes) for each individual campaign, and report to contributors afterward with photographic evidence. I ahve been a part of this group for years and count it a privilege.

on Jun 26, 2011 8:09 PM

As part of Wool-Aid,  I am in a community of warmhearted knitters who make socks, blankets, sweaters, vests and more for children around the world.  Many of us had been part of Warm Woolies.  Our current campaigns are to cloth Inuit children in Newfoundland and earthquake victims in Tibet.  It's amazing the mountains of colorful and beautiful handknits we donate!  For me, our Wool-Aid Ravelry group is the most supportive and fun knitting meet-up that I take part in - virtual or local!  Please check out our website, ravelry group, and join us.

Hadedah wrote
on Jun 26, 2011 4:44 AM

HI  I live in South Africa like Bessie Joubert and I agree with her.  What children need here are warm clothes and blankets in winter.  I appreciate all your good intentions but bears are not indigenous animals in Africa and the knitted variety is not going to keep a child warm at night.  I think that JeanC@14 made a good point.  Perhaps your desire to help others should start at home.  Knitters are wonderfully generous people and I will always applaud those who spend their time and money in creating special things for special people, little and big.

on Jun 25, 2011 9:24 PM

Dear Kathleen, I live in Aids-Ridden South-Africa and I can assure you these children need warm knitted jerseys far more than they need bears ! Please ask the knitters to ad a warm jersey ( even worn jerseys in good condition) to every bear they send to Africa. One of my friends is a missionary in Swaziland and I can put you in contact with him ( 70% of population has a family member with Aids) and the poverty and need are immense ! My e-mail address is:

On another topic : I also have some very interesting patterns passed down from great-grandmothers, aunts, and other relatives . Some are from German, Dutch, English, Irish, Scottish, and old South-African origin. ( not to mention recipe & crochet books ). I think you must come and visit me in South- Africa, we will have a BALL of a time. I love your newsletters. I am a 64-year old retired pharmacist with a passion for crafts & gardening. ( Too few hours in a day as I am also running a self-catering guest-house )

bowls wrote
on Jun 25, 2011 6:19 PM

i would love to do this to help but as i live in australia the post would just be to much but good luck to every one able to help i do some knitting for my hospital premie babies little dolls for children and also for young girls that have got pregant and have no help keep up the good work aussie pam

la jefa wrote
on Jun 25, 2011 4:38 PM

From experience I've had with other charities, I imagine that they might not want us to knit bears from our own patterns because some children would get bears that are fancier while others would receive plain-looking bears.  

JILLG@5 wrote
on Jun 25, 2011 1:12 PM

I'm in agreement with those who said to furnish the pattern FREE. Also to waive the $5 fee per bear, as knitters also pay to have their finished bears shipped. The organization should ask for donations to help defray their cost to ship the bears.

Machar wrote
on Jun 25, 2011 12:17 PM

I must agree with Imwilson81 -- why do they charge their volunteer knitters $5 plus mailing costs just for the pattern??  It seems odd to hit up their much-needed knitters for money.  There are lots of other charities we can knit for that don't do this.  Mother Bear Project really needs to think about this obstacle!

JeanC@14 wrote
on Jun 25, 2011 10:38 AM

I think it such a great idea to knit to help others. I knit for Stitches from the Heart. it is hats, sweaters, blankets for premature babies so small in the hospital, that the hospitals clothes wont fit them.. I have another comment I've been wanting to say for a long time. You see the picture at the top, why don't we put pictures of poor kids in the USA  out or up for everyone to knit for. Are we ashamed to say that we have homeless children in the US?? We Americans should be knitting for them. Find out where they are.. I seen an aritice about Hight School Kids going to Africa & teaching girls to crochet & start their own business.  Why don't we do the same for girls in poor neighborhoods say like In Newark NJ. for instance. Sorry for the rant buy I've driven through some rough neighborhoods which I'm SURE alot of you have. Please help them start their own business.If i knew how I would do it myself.& I'm sure there are alot of homeless families & familes on welfare that would love to have their own businesses to suppot themselves... again sorry for the rant but its about time someone stood up for the poor in the USA...

LouiseT@11 wrote
on Jun 25, 2011 8:38 AM

I am involved with something called "Power Socks."  I ask sock knitters to donate the excess socks they have knit. The proceeds are to help low-income people with utility bills. This past month we were able to help 3-4 families get into FEMA housing after the terrible tornados in Alabama.  L. Thibodaux, Birmingham, Alabama

LindaBB wrote
on Jun 25, 2011 8:17 AM

I'm delighted to see that the Mother Bear Project is thriving.  My British mother knitted hundreds of bears for children in Romania, Bosnia, and Brazil.  We gave the last bears to the Brazil liaison after Mother died at age 85 in June 2007, and the liaison gave a lovely tribute at the funeral.  My mother suffered dementia from a meningioma and cancer, but she bravely knitted brightly colored bears as long as she could.  She had memorized the pattern and it stayed in her brain!  I checked her knitting bag after she died and found that she had finished every bear, even the smiles and scarves.   Another elderly lady read Mother's obituary and offered to knit bears for Brazil after that.  

PamelaW@18 wrote
on Jun 25, 2011 7:48 AM

This looks like a wonderful program.  I run a knitting and crochet club at our high school.  We made over 500 chemo hats, scarves, baby blankets and preemie hats for local hospitals last year.  The kids are always looking for new ideas for things to knit, so I will suggest the Mother Bear Project to them for next year.

on Jun 25, 2011 7:21 AM

I've just finished 3 bears and hope to knit more in the future.  The pattern is easy and the finished product is adorable!  The smiles on the faces in the pictures makes it worth the effort.

MDS wrote
on Jun 25, 2011 7:09 AM

I knit things for afghans 4 Afghans, a charity that works with NGOs on the ground in Afghanistan to distribute hand made socks, mittens, gloves, hats and sweaters to children.

CindyM@37 wrote
on Jun 21, 2011 11:05 PM

My favorite charity for knitted items is Socks for Soldiers. This is an international group of lovely knitters who make socks and caps for troops. You can learn more about the group at Even if you can't or don't enjoy knitting socks there is a lot you can do.

TerryP@6 wrote
on Jun 19, 2011 12:13 PM

Our knitting guild, Knoshing Knitters from Newark, DE, usually participate in at least 2 charity projects each year.  Right now, we are working on hats and scarves for a Lakota reservation in South Dakota.  They will be distributed to all ages in Christmas boxes that volunteers prepare each year.  There are 3000 people on the reservation and apparently the need is great.  I was contacted by a reservation volunteer who is a fellow member of TKGA.  We also like to work on projects that will benefit those in our geographical area and have done knitted items for CHOP, a local shelter and others.  We have also knitted for Iowa flood victims and Katrina victims.  All of us who can knit and have the time should be sharing with our less fortunate populations both at home and abroad.  It's the very best thing we can do for mankind, share our gifts with others.

JerryI wrote
on Jun 18, 2011 9:57 AM

Just try one bear and you will be hooked.  The pattern is simplicity itself and the possibilities are only limited be the knitter's imagination.  I have knit 4 bears and there is one on my needles as I write this.  My friend and I combine our bears for shipping and that saves on postage.  We are actually having fun making them and are very glad that they will make someone happy.  For many of these children the bear may be their only personal possession.  BTW I live on a fixed income but I do have a stash of odds and ends that make some very colorful bears.

lmwilson81 wrote
on Jun 17, 2011 2:41 PM

great idea, but don't understand why it won't let you knit a bear of your own pattern or provide the free pattern.  If they are truly trying to make a difference they are putting a lot of hurdles in place for someone who just wants to make a few and send them.  I also have to pay them for them to ship each bear after I have already paid to ship it to them.  In a tight economy that can add up!